Identification of a widespread Kamchatkan tephra: A middle Pleistocene tie-point between Arctic and Pacific paleoclimatic records

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Abstract

[1] Very few age controls exist for Quaternary deposits over the vast territory of the East Russian Arctic, which hampers dating of major environmental changes in this area and prevents their correlation to climatic changes in the Arctic and Pacific marine domains. We report a newly identified ~177 ka old Rauchua tephra, which has been dispersed over an area of >1,500,000 km2 and directly links terrestrial paleoenvironmental archives from Arctic Siberia with marine cores in the northwest Pacific, thus permitting their synchronization and dating. The Rauchua tephra can help to identify deposits formed in terrestrial and marine environments during the oxygen isotope stage 6.5 warming event. Chemical composition of volcanic glass from the Rauchua tephra points to its island-arc origin, while its spatial distribution singles out the Kamchatka volcanic arc as a source. The Rauchua tephra represents a previously unknown, large (magnitude >6.5) explosive eruption from the Kamchatka volcanic arc.

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